Upbeat and positive describe the overall vibe that Lizzo sets for us from the very beginning in her new album, “Special”. From empowerment for females to talking about CEO positions, Lizzo is the best friend that we all need in our darkest times and the hype friend that we need in our best.
The album starts off reminding us of her big-girl positive sound and overall mantra of body positivity and relatable content. Lizzo is an artist for the masses who reminds us to love ourselves at every moment. She has taken the brand of empowerment music and run with it at a time when the overall morale of the human spirit is running low in the wake of Covid-19.
Her chart topping hit “About Damn Time” appears on the album with a mix of disco and classic pop. Synthesizers and bass lines create both a classic and new perspective, merged into a very authentic Lizzo sound. Throwbacks to a Soul Train line aligns with Lizzo’s authentic dance heavy and feel good music. It’s as if the artist WANTS us to dance naked in the mirror while getting ready for a night out. With her dance craze having gone viral on TikTok, Lizzo has branded an all around experience for the listener to enjoy the song but connect to a broader audience through the unifying power of dance as she has in her Emmy-nominated show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” streaming on Prime Video. With hints of her flute scattered throughout the album, Lizzo reminds us that while she may have grown in the time she’s been away, she has never forgotten her roots.
Each song has a storyline that relates to someone who has either empowered or hurt her during the time that she’s been away. Every moment has a cinematic message to it that lends itself to a complete mini movie. Honestly, I look forward to seeing the evolution of music video releases for this album featuring her diverse cast of dancers and the development of the story line reflected in the album.
One of the main highlights on the album is “Special”. A song all about change, Lizzo has grasped at our heart strings and let us in on how she’s been really feeling through criticism and heartbreak over the past few years; simultaneously, reminding us of how we can grow from such trauma and reclaim ourselves and our space. Of the lyrics, “Is it because I’m black and heavy…” stands out immediately as Lizzo makes a plea to understand why she was treated the was she was but goes on to explain how her instance of moving away from traumatic experiences and subsequently being empowered has led her down a path of healing.
“In case no one told you today, you’re special.”
Overall, Lizzo exposes her knowledge of music and artists through references and inspired sounds that really uplift such as Lauryn Hills famous Doo Wop lyric, “Boy, you know you better watch out…” It’s as if she pulled the most authentically fun and bright sounds from across the 80s, 90s, 00s and today to create a fusion sound with what we know as her euphoric and happy sound. Empowering, uplifting and fun; Lizzo has created an album that (like her previous singles) will resonate so long as body dysmorphia, self esteem issues and depression are around. But, it seems as though Lizzo is trying to find the cure by being that friend we all need. She reminds those of us dealing with body image issues and negative self talk to not accept any sort of bogus energy from those who claim to love us.